Westhampton Beach Middle School Gym Teacher Will Return To Court On Monday


The Westhampton Beach Middle School gym teacher arrested last month on charges that he videotaped students in the girls locker room is due to return to court next week.

Thomas Sheppard, 27, of Speonk is scheduled to appear at the Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Monday, April 29, when he is expected to be arraigned on one felony count of second-degree unlawful surveillance and seven misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. At his original arraignment last Month, Mr. Sheppard was charged only with the felony count.

Mr. Clifford explained this week that Mr. Sheppard was indicted before a grand jury on April 8, but the details of his indictment have been sealed until his next court date on Monday.

Mr. Sheppard was arrested by State Police on March 20. They said their investigation, which began on March 6, revealed that Mr. Sheppard, a four-year employee of the district, placed a video recording device in the girls’ locker room at the middle school.

Investigators have not said when the incident allegedly took place, or how many girls were victimized, though district officials contacted Westhampton Beach Village Police on February 26 to request an investigation. Village Police later requested that State Police take charge of the investigation.

Mr. Sheppard, who has been suspended with pay since his arrest, remains free on bail.

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